Michael Kelly Lawler
Left: At only two years of age, Michael Kelly Lawler emigrated with his parents from County Kildare, Ireland to Gallatin County, Illinois. He volunteered to train the 18th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, having served earlier as a captain in the Mexican War. Lawler tried to whip the raw recruits into a regiment worthy of battle. Putting Army procedures aside, Lawler encouraged supervised fighting as a way to resolve disagreements. He added a chemical to whiskey to ensure any imbiber would be taken ill. He also appointed a Catholic chaplain to the predominately Protestant regiment. Lawler led his men at Vicksburg even though he had been wounded at Fort Donelson two months earlier. Suffering from serious health issues, Lawler was sent home in 1864.